Jessica Gregson’s blog

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Annual Life List check-in

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It’s my birthday! I am 37! Time to review the Life List. Items in bold indicate things that I have done; items in italics indicate things that are in progress. You can tell I had just got into diving when I was first pulling this together.


Do my PADI rescue / Do my Divemaster / log 100 dives (currently at 49, I think) / log 50 dives in UK waters (currently at eight) / dive with seals in Farne / dive with whale sharks / do a liveaboard (technically I have done this, but feel like it should be longer than two nights to count) / do a wreck dive (twice, off the coast of Egypt near Safaga, November 2013) / dive with great whites if I can figure out how to do it environmentally responsibly / dive Silfra / ice dive (probably in Baikal) / night dive in phosphorescence / do some sort of lengthy (at least one month) possibly conservation diving thing where I dive multiple times a day / compile a list of the top sites I want to dive, and then dive them / try free diving / dive in a cenote / dive with basking sharks / swim or dive with blue whales, Sri Lanka / learn to surf / try skiing or snowboarding / go rock climbing (near Dahab, October 2013) / do a long (50 – 100 mile) bike ride / do a multiple-day kayaking trip / do a long hiking trip (multiple days, possibly camping – e.g. the West Highland way) / sky dive / go on a multi-day rafting trip (two days, South Sudan, March 2013) / do a triathlon / run at least 10k (June 2014) (possibly half marathon or even marathon if I don’t hate it) / learn to white water kayak / learn to sail / do some sort of swimtrek / go potholing (argh) / get driving license! (passed theory test May 2015) / buy Lada Niva and bring it back to the UK / learn to use my sewing machine / once I have learned to drive, learn engine maintenance / get motorbike license / develop a repertoire of good dishes I can cook / learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube / learn how to strip a gun and put it back together blindfolded / fire a gun (Oman, January 2015) / fire an AK [details redacted] / go canyoning / buy a dress that shows off my back properly / learn how to do the front crawl properly for at least 100m / visit every country in the world (currently at 97 of 206, using the UN-Plus list) / get to know Glasgow properly / get to know Scotland properly / island hop in Scotland / go on a multi-day ocean journey (out of sight of land) / travel up one of the big Russian rivers into the Arctic circle / do the Trans-Siberian again but this time to Vladivostok, stopping along the way / travel up the Amazon / see sea turtles hatching (saw sea turtles laying their eggs in Oman, January 2014) / go to the Galapagos / go to Easter Island / spend time in very rural Australia, probably volunteering with an indigenous organisation / trek to Everest base camp / summit Kilimanjaro / see the aurora (borealis or australis) / go to Antarctica / spend at least three months living in a large north American city (ideally New York) / spend at least a month living in Paris / kayak with whales (possibly in Hermanus) / see a meteor shower / visit Laas-Geel, Somaliland (March 2015) / be in Lewes for 5 November / go to Venice for Carnivale / see the Pallio in Siena / go to Pamplona for the running of the bulls / go to New Orleans for mardi gras / go to Rio de Janeiro for Mardi Gras / be somewhere in Latin America for Semana Santa / go to Up Helly Aa / spend my birthday somewhere it is a big deal (John the Baptist / midsummer) / go to India for Holi / be in Mexico for the day of the dead / visit Guelta d’Archei, Chad / visit Antelope Canyon, US / visit the Ring of fire, Wrangel Island, Russia / visit that place in Venezuela with the permanent thunderstorm / visit Orkney and Shetland / visit Lindisfarne / visit Snowdonia (August 2014) / visit Anglesey / visit Brittany / visit Corsica and Sardinia / visit Greenland / visit the Faroe Islands / see narwhals in the wild / see orcas in the wild / do a proper sauna in Finland / visit all the European capitals (missing capitals: Andorra la Vella, Vienna, Minsk, Sofia, Vilnius, Luxembourg, Valetta, Chisinau, Podgorica, Stockholm, Bern, Kiev)  / see bison in Belarus / visit Chernobyl / go to Jökulsárlón / visit Niaux caves, France / see the Alhambra / visit the Bucovina monasteries / and the Meteora monasteries / visit the Kamchatka peninsula / go bog canoeing in Estonia / visit Nagorno Karabakh (October 2014) / visit the Aral Sea / visit Pamukkale / visit Gaza / visit the Western Oases in Egypt, and the black and white desert / travel overland between Khartoum and Cairo / visit Suakin / dive in the Red Sea off the coast of Sudan / visit the Danakil Depression / visit Mustang / travel to every state of the US (current count: Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, California) / travel to the far north of Canada (Nunavut or Yukon) / visit the Dogon Escarpment / visit Timbuktu / visit Lamu (October 2014) / see Mount Kenya / visit the Turkana region / see polar bears in Canada / go gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda / visit the Okavango delta / go up the Shard / visit Lake Kaindy in Kazakhstan / climb the highest mountains (hills, really) in England, Wales (August 2014) and Scotland / go to Burning Man / visit the Mogollon Canyon Range / walk the Broomway / walk around downtown Mogadishu / visit Yakutsk and the Pillars of Lena / spend time above the Arctic circle (in winter) / visit all the Mountain Bothy Association bothies / visit Socotra / do an Mountain Bothy Association work camp / do a proper reading in a bookshop or book festival (bookshops: Leaves in Juba, March 2013. Festival: Budapest Book Fair, April 2013 – technically not a reading, but I was on a couple of panels, which I’m going to count) / teach on a creative writing course / go on a writing retreat / organise, or help organise, a literary festival / do [secret plan: redacted] / write [redacted] book / write a non-fiction book / blog weekly for at least a year (have I actually managed this yet? Not sure) / write enough poetry for a small collection (even if it never sees the light of day) / likewise short stories / likewise a play / do some sort of collaborative writing project / participate in some sort of oral history project / take part in the creation of a graphic novel / make a short film / devise and complete some sort of musical project / devise and complete some sort of artistic project / make a garden / learn to play my way through the big piano music book that I have / learn about radio production and make some sort of radio documentary / perfect my flat / get organised in my study / get my financial affairs 100% in order / do an ethical audit of the way I live, and live by it / get a full health screening (August 2013, though probably time for another one) / take part in some sort of community project where I live / properly finish [redacted project] / write to authors whose writing I love / revise life list on a yearly basis (hello!) / do [secret project of narcissism] / hold a tarantula / go through and listen to all my music, delete the stuff I don’t like, acquire more of the stuff I do / go to a prom (this kind of prom, not this kind of prom) / start an NGO / go on an actual, proper EXPEDITION to somewhere completely off the tourist trail / work in a proper humanitarian or emergency context / get my genes sequenced / do a PhD, one day / take at least one university-level economics course / take at least one university-level science course / get a C qualification in French in DELF/DALF / get some sort of recognisable qualification in German / get Russian to conversational level (probably through an immersion course) / get Arabic to conversational level (probably through an immersion course) (intensive course done in Oman December 2014 – January 2015, but wouldn’t say I’m conversational yet) / learn to speak Spanish to conversational level / learn basic Somali / compile list of literature that I should read, and read it / compile list of films that I should see, and see them / learn about whisk(e)y / learn about wine / see a murmuration of starlings doing their swirly thing / get properly good at yoga (possibly do a retreat!) / establish a signature scent / publish an academic article / learn how to use Excel really well / learn proper orienteering (compass, ordinance survey map, etc.) / do some sort of photography course (possibly online) / see a solar eclipse.


Written by Jess

June 24, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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